On Monday, we received Summary Judgment in our client’s favor in a federal court ERISA life insurance case against Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. The Plaintiff was the son of the decedent. The decedent was a nurse employed by a local nursing home. She ceased working in February 2007 as a result of some health problems. While out of work, her employer changed life insurance carriers for its employees. Shortly after the changeover our client’s mother died.
The life insurance claim was submitted to Sun Life – the employer’s new insurance company – which denied the claim. Sun Life argued that the employer, to whom the policy was issued, failed to list Plaintiff’s mother as a disabled employee, and that she was still entitled to life insurance from the previous insurance company at the time of her death. However, the Sun Life policy included a provision relating to “continuity of coverage.” This provision provides that an individual will be covered, under the new policy, if the employee had been covered under the prior life insurance company and was not actively at work at the time the change in carriers took place.
We filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The parties agreed that the claim was governed by ERISA, and thereafter, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. Sun Life’s motion was denied, Plaintiff’s motion was granted. Plaintiff’s son was awarded full life insurance benefits. The issue of our attorneys fees and costs remains pending before the court.
A copy of the Court’s ruling can be downloaded here.